EEOC Sends Message to Private Sector On Transgender Workers’ Restroom Rights

Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs
By Patrick Dorrian
June 10, 2015

Private sector employers that don’t respect a transgender worker’s choice of restroom to use run the risk of claims and potential liability under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, employment lawyers and advocates told Bloomberg BNA in a series of interviews.

They said the risk exists even though there’s disagreement over whether federal courts will embrace the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s April 1 decision in Lusardi v. McHugh, EEOC, No. 0120133395, 4/1/15, when interpreting the workplace rights of transgender private sector employees.

In Lusardi, a case involving a government employee, the EEOC held for the first time that a male-to-female transgender woman faced illegal sex discrimination under Title VII when she was told her use of a common women’s restroom was making co-workers uncomfortable and to use a unisex bathroom instead.

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